City of Roses Music Festival ripe with talent

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Dave Mason, formerly of Traffic, a headliner

Dates are Sept. 27-29

Business Today

More than 40 bands will perform at 11 Cape Girardeau downtown nightclubs and on the main stage -- a barge on the Mississippi River between Broadway and Themis Street -- the nights of Sept. 27 and 28 during the City of Roses Music Festival.

Many are local musicians, while at least three groups -- the rockabilly band The Melroys, the R&B band The Contors and the alternative country band Belle Starr -- are from St. Louis.

Also in the lineup are the Nashville bluegrass duo The Cantrells.

But the legendary Dave Mason will headline the second night, Saturday, during this year's music festival.

Ask someone under 40 who Dave Mason is and the reaction often is a shrug. Say "Traffic," and the light goes on.

In the late '60s, Mason and Stevie Winwood joined with Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi to form the legendary British band that recorded such hits as "Dear Mr. Fantasy" and "Feeling Alright" (made into a bigger hit by Joe Cocker). Both Traffic and Mason carried on after he left the band in 1969.

The festival's third day, Sunday afternoon, will present gospel music in a bill headlined by the Fredericktown bluegrass band called the Sitze Family.

Wes Wade, first-year president of the City of Roses Music Heritage Association, said another 30 bands that wanted to play in the festival "didn't make the cut." Wade says the choice of Mason as headliner for the festival should please many different ages.

Venues participating in the festival include the Bel Air Grill, Breakaways, Broussard's, the Space Walk Cafe, Indigo, Jeremiah's, Mollie's, Port Cape, the Rude Dog, Willy Jak's and In the Wine Cellar.

Classical music also will be performed at the Royal N'Orleans restaurant and the Kelsen Gallery.

Sixwire's current single, "Look at Me Now," is No. 30 on the Billboard chart. Sixwire has toured as the opening act for Lee Greenwood and Faith Hill.

The Sitze Family has performed at Silver Dollar City in Branson and at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Other acts booked for the gospel day at the festival include the band Image of Unity and Jackson singer Robyn Hosp.

Major sponsors for the festival are the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Downtown Merchants Association, CP McGinty Jewelers, Bluff City Beer, River Eagle Distributing and Shivelbine's Music. Major media sponsors are the Southeast Missourian newspaper, Zimmer Radio Group, Withers Radio Group and KBSI Fox TV.

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